Recently Mediator Blah…Blah…, one of my favorite ADR blogs, sadly ceased publication. I will miss friend and fellow blogger Geoff Sharp‘s intelligent, emotionally honest writing and wit.
Fortunately there are other blogs, written by talented, insightful practitioners, that can fill the void that Geoff’s absence has created. I have compiled a list of currently active blogs that I recommend to you, with a few words on why.
Creating a list like this was challenging, with so many worthy ADR blogs to choose from. I fear that some I may have inadvertently overlooked, and as I’ve written this post, I’ve had to change the number in the title several times.
I therefore invite you, gentle reader, to add your own recommendations in the comment section below.
These blogs have been around for quite a long time, in one form or another. The quality of their writing and the usefulness of the information they provide explain their longevity. They are:
- Settle It Now Negotiation Law Blog, by Victoria Pynchon, contains consistently superb discussion and analysis of issues in negotiation, as well as unflinching self-honesty and debate on controversial issues.
- Idealawg, by Stephanie West Allen, artfully weaves in discussion of law, conflict resolution, scientific discoveries, and creativity; will get your neurons firing.
- Campus ADR Tech Blog, by technological wizard Bill Warters, consistently links to useful tools and resources for ADR practitioners, trainers, and educators. A long-time favorite of mine.
- Making Mediation Your Day Job, by Tammy Lenski. Other ADR marketing “experts” have come and gone. To appreciate why Tammy’s site endures while others have long since faded away, visit the latest incarnation of her site helping mediators build successful practices.
- PGP Mediation Blog, by Phyllis Pollack. Phyllis leaves the door to the mediation room open just a crack so you can listen in and learn from her experiences at the table.
- CKA Mediation and Arbitration Blog, by Chris Annunziata. We all need a gutsy contrarian, someone willing to dispatch sacred cows or tell us when the emperor wears no clothes. Chris pulls no punches, whether tackling lawsuit abuse or discussing practice issues that the mediator in Georgia faces – such as this recent post on the “deregistration” of a mediator by the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution.
These are blogs that present views beyond U.S. borders. They enrich our understanding of conflict resolution and negotiation.
- The Mediation Times, by Amanda Bucklow, U.K., addresses an international audience and seeks to expand the role of mediation to resolve disputes. (FYI, Amanda recently published the results of her own research on mediator skills and attributes.)
- ICT for Peace, by Sanjana Hattotuwo, Sri Lanka. This outstanding blog explores the use of technology for conflict transformation and the critical role of citizen media in social justice.
- MediAsian, by Ian Macduff, Singapore. Published by a relocated New Zealander – born in Malaysia, now living and working in Singapore – this blog discusses mediation and dispute resolution in Asia, including the role that culture plays.
- Reporting on Conflict: Peacemakers Trust Media Watch Blog, edited by Catherine Morris, Canada. This blog rounds up news on dispute resolution, conflict transformation and peace building, gathered from sources around the world. Essential for anyone interested in following international news on conflict resolution.
- Dialogic Mediation, by Arnold Zeman, Canada. This blog publishes less frequently than others, but quality not quantity matters. Consider for example, this illuminating article on transformative mediation, which got me to confront my own assumptions about this model of practice.
Newer Voices, Robust Discussion
These newer contributors have elevated the quality of discourse in the ADR blogosphere or have reinvigorated it with fresh ideas or new direction.
- Enjoy Mediation, by Jeff Thompson. If you want to catch the ascent of a rising star in the ADR field, read Jeff’s blog. Jeff has managed to snag an interview with new ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Chair Homer LaRue, garner media coverage for an innovative program that uses cricket and soccer to build bridges between the police and communities, and recruit a team of celebrity ADR guest bloggers – and that was just during the month of August.
- Settlement Perspectives, by John DeGroote. Published by a litigation veteran and accomplished negotiator, this blog uses real-life stories from the trenches to address difficult issues in negotiation and settlement relevant to counsel and client.
- Cross Collaborate, by John Folk-Williams. This blog, devoted to public policy collaboration, discusses methods for shaping and influencing government decisions and policies
- Mediation Matters, by Steve Mehta. Steve transforms his experience mediating complex cases into engaging and thought-provoking posts that share his reflections on ADR practice.
These blogs focus on specialty areas in ADR.
- Loree Reinsurance and Arbitration Law Forum, by Philip J. Loree, Jr., contributor and editor. This niche blog is distinguished by scholarly, sophisticated discussion and analysis of issues in reinsurance and commercial litigation and arbitration.
- Disputing, by Victoria VanBuren, contributor and editor. Recently celebrating four years of blogging, Disputing focuses its writing on news and discussion on the resolution of commercial disputes through arbitration and mediation.
- IP ADR Blog, by Eric van Ginkel, Les Weinstein, Victoria Pynchon, and Michael Young. Expect from this blog high-level analysis of issues involving the resolution of intellectual property disputes, including business strategy and tactics.
- The Ombuds Blog, by Tom Kosakowski. An essential source for news and job postings for the ombudsman.
- ADR Prof Blog, by Andrea Schneider, Michael Moffitt, Sarah Cole, Art Hinshaw, Jill Gross, and Cynthia Alkon. To the best of my knowledge, this is the only blog with a special focus on ADR teaching and scholarship. Don’t assume that its academic pedigree signifies starchiness and pretense; on the contrary. Expect to find relevant news, useful links, and sly humor, delivered in an admirably concise package.
This is the one podcast among this group of blogs. It is always worth listening to.
- International Dispute Negotiation, hosted by Michael McIlwrath and the International Institute for Conflict Resolution and Prevention (CPR). This high-quality podcast series featuring conversations with leading thinkers and practitioners with a global perspective on ADR. (I just wish that CPR would stop messing with the RSS settings for this podcast – I just discovered that the feed changed yet again, which meant that I missed learning of recent podcasts via my newsreader. Hint, hint.)
These are blogs published by folks who consistently produce great writing but haven’t garnered the attention IMHO I think they merit. Here’s some link love for these deserving blogs:
Of course there are still roughly 200 other ADR blogs over at my other site, ADRblogs.com, which tracks and catalogs blogs from 30 countries across the globe.
For other outstanding blogs, see Mediate.com’s Featured Blogs page, or pay a visit to the world-wide gallery of ADR blogs at the web site of the International Mediation Institute.